Calgary Flames vs Carolina Hurricanes, 7:00 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome
Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 32-13-5 (69) - Carolina Hurricanes 23-20-5 (51)
The Flames will play their final game before the ASG and mandatory break as they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the Saddledome for their only visit of the season. Calgary continues to be one of the hottest teams in the NHL having won 10 of their last 13 and have collected a point in 12 of those 13 games. The Flames own both the top spot in the Pacific and in the Western Conference as they head into tonight’s game with the Hurricanes. The Flames offence has been off the charts this season and they have five players with 50 points on the season. Johnny Gaudreau leads the way with 73 points and he has a 11 game point streak going where he’s scored 8 goals and collected 10 helpers.
The Hurricanes meanwhile are moving pieces and extending pieces, all while trying to stay afloat in the Wild Card race in the Eastern Conference. Carolina recently sent Victor Rask to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Nino Niederreiter and just gave Teuvo Teravainen a five year extension. Teravainen is second on the team in points with 39, 15 behind Sebastian Aho’s team leading 54 points. The month of December started a rough stretch as Carolina would lose 10 of 13 and talks of a fire sale were on. Then, out of nowhere, Carolina went on a five game winning streak and have won eight of their last 11. While the trade talks have cooled off, the Hurricanes playoff push still has a long way to go. The Canes are 4th in the WC standings in the East and are seven points behind Pittsburgh for the final WC spot.
Putting all that aside, let’s look at what this game is really about: The Trade. This game is the first and only time Micheal Ferland (listed as day-to-day) and Dougie Hamilton will set foot in the Saddledome this season, barring some miracle playoff run that puts both teams in the Stanley Cup Finals. The trade has clearly worked out well for Calgary as Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin have out-performed their counter parts and even set new career highs on the young season. This will also be Bill Peters first chance to coach against his old team and Derek Ryan’s first time on the ice against Carolina as well.
The Flames are 3-2-0 in their last 5 against the Hurricanes at home and have lost two straight on home ice to Carolina.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Rittich (E)- 18-4-4, 2.49 GAA, .917 Save%
Hurricanes: Mrazek (E)- 10-10-2, 2.80 GAA, .895 Save%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (29), Points- Gaudreau (73), PIM- Bennett (72), Save%- Rittich (.917)
Hurricanes: Goals- Aho (21), Points- Aho (54), PIM- Svechnikov (44). Save%- McElhinney (.914)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Carolina Hurricanes Coverage: Canes Country
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 5 - Edmonton Oilers 2
Carolina Hurricanes 7 - Edmonton Oilers 4
Players To Watch
Johnny Gaudreau (F): 29G - 44A, 7 points in last 5 games
Sebastian Aho (F)- 21G - 33A, 9 points in last 5 games